Combining the musical traditions of Ireland with hard-edged rock, Dublin-based Café Orchestra has emerged as one of the Emerald Isle's leading folk-rock bands. In addition to recording four memorable albums, Tres Café, After Hours, Topaz, and Feelgood, the group provided the soundtrack of such films as the Neil Jordan-directed Michael Collins and the Angelica Huston-directed Agnes Brown and performed a highly visible show at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000. Formed as a duo by violinist Patrick Collins and accordionist Michael Flynn, Café Orchestra spent its formative years playing in pubs, restaurants, and café bars. Their only album as a duo, Tres Café, was released in 1993. With its success, the group expanded into a quartet with the addition of guitar and acoustic bass. 1995 proved to be a watershed year for Café Orchestra. In addition to releasing their second album, After Hour, the group recorded their breakthrough album, Topaz, which earned a nomination in the Best Irish Album category of the IRMA (Ireland's equivalent of the Grammys) the following year. Opening a concert for R.E.M. at Slane Castle, the band performed for a sold-out audience that included Van Morrison, U2, Brad Pitt, and film director Neil Jordan. Café Orchestra also collaborated, in 1995, with Shane MacGowan, the Irish Concert Orchestra, and Emotional Fish. Setting up their studio, in 1999, Café Orchestra recorded their fourth album, Feelgood, with guest vocalist Mary Coughlin.
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